Latrobe man gets jail for 2012 heists in Rostraver
A Latrobe man will serve as much as 21 years in prison for two armed robberies committed two summers ago in Rostraver.
Steven Michael Kozemchak, 24, pleaded no contest on Wednesday to charges of robbery, theft and receiving stolen property in connection with the July 31, 2012, heist at the EFS Food Station grocery store and a similar crime four days later at a CoGos convenience store.
The pleas were finalized just minutes before lawyers were scheduled to make opening statements before a jury in the grocery store robbery case.
Westmoreland County Judge Richard E. McCormick Jr. sentenced Kozemchak to concurrent nine- to 21-year prison terms.
Under terms of the plea bargain, prosecutors waived seeking a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison for each robbery.
“I was satisfied with the outcome. That's a lot of time,” said Assistant District Attorney Wayne Gongaware.
Police said Kozemchak wore a hat, glasses and a hood over his head when he entered the grocery store, held a knife to a clerk's neck and demanded cash from the register.
Witnesses said Kozemchak left the store with $150 and fled into nearby woods.
On Aug. 4, 2012 police said Kozemchak wore a black “Kiss” wig when he brandished a knife and demanded a clerk at the convenience store empty the cash register. Witnesses said Kozemchak took $462.
According to court records, a couple alerted police they suspected Kozemchak, who had briefly stayed at their home, was involved in the robberies.
Joe Lamacchia told police he met “Steve the Dump Truck” Kozemchak at a rehabilitation center and allowed him to stay at his home.
Police found a knife, clothes and a wig that witnesses described in a room that Kozemchak used, according to court records.
Gongaware said police found Kozemchak's DNA on the clothes and the wig.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Police gather in Ligonier for Perryopolis officer’s funeral
- Penn Township man who shot friend gets probation
- United Way surplus funds benefit 9 nonprofits in Westmoreland County
- Arbitration decides Westmoreland court workers’ pact
- Plenty of ‘pain’ to share, as Westmoreland County budget OK’d with $8M in cuts
- 11 Westmoreland inmates accused of setting fire put in solitary confinement
- Youngwood fire department reaches out to homeless family
- Hempfield leaders kill zoning request for townhomes
- Demolition project at Oliver’s Pourhouse in Greensburg moves ahead
- Unity name excised from Latrobe parks, recreation
- Bus used at World Trade Center on 9/11 revamped in East Huntingdon